The Mental Health Initiative for 2018 – 2019 Funding Opportunities


Funding Opportunity #1

Training Opportunities
for Library Staff

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Application due: December 5th at 5pm

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Funding Opportunity #2

Library Partnerships and Targeted Programming for Community Members

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Application due: December 14th at 5pm

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Funding Opportunity #3

Resource Fairs

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Application due: December 20th at 5pm

Public library jurisdictions in California may apply for all three opportunities and those who have previously received funds are eligible again. These are not considered grants and our funding agency, Southern California Library Cooperative (SCLC), will work with library systems to determine the best funding methods for each system.

There is an informational webinar available on these funding opportunities.


Additional Information on Mental Health

According to the latest Health Interview Survey, nearly 1 in 10 adults in California suffer from functional impairment due to a mental disorder. This means 9 percent of all adults in the state are experiencing psychological suffering to the point of it impacting their work and social life.

The World Health Organization estimates that by the year 2020, depression — the most common mental health problem — will be the world's second leading cause of disability, trailing behind ischemic heart disease.

Mental health disorders are even more prevalent amongst teens and the homeless. An estimated 70 percent of youth in the juvenile justice system have at least one mental health disorder. Over half of students 14 years and older with a mental disorder will drop out of high school. Of the homeless population, 26 percent faces chronic mental illness and 35 percent have chronic substance abuse issues. About 1 in 20 veterans experiences serious mental illness. Of those, 3 out of 4 will receive inadequate or no treatment at all.

We need to normalize the conversation around mental health. People walking around on crutches or children wearing band-aids are not judged harshly, nor are they worried about being treated differently for needing physical help. As prevalent as mental illness is, a person suffering from anxiety disorder or depression or a host of other mental illnesses should never fear seeking resources and treatment.

Libraries throughout the state serve these vulnerable populations every day. Our goal is for them to more effectively and compassionately act as hubs for mental health education. Due to a library’s role as trusted institutions in communities, they are perfectly suited for this task.

The prevalence of these disabilities causes strain not only on individuals but communities. The Mental Health initiative strives to make communities throughout California healthier, not just physically – but mentally. To do this, we are working with libraries across the state to further develop the creation of safe spaces for mental health knowledge and access to resources.

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